THE CANQNGA TE AND ABBEY SANCTUAR Y. 279 Blyth’s Close. Directly opposite to this, but separated from it by modern partitions, a large Gothic fireplace remained, decorated with rich mouldings and clustered pillars at the sides. On the occasion referred to, the burgesses and the garrison of the Castle used their utmost efforts to compel the Regent’s‘advisera to adjourn. Cannon were planted in the Blackfriars’ Yards, as well as on the walls, to batter this novel ‘ Parliament House ; and the Castle guns were plied with such effect as ‘( did greit skaith in the heid of the Cannogait to the houssis thairof.‘ ” The adjoining closes to the eastward abounded, a few years since, with ancient timberfronted tenements of a singularly picturesque character ; .but the value of property became for a time so much depreciated in this neighbourhood that the whole were abandoned by their owners to ruinous decay. When making a drawing of a group of them some years ago, which presented peculiarly attractive features for the pencil, we were amused to observe more than one weather-worn intimation of Lodgings to Let, enlivening the fronts of tenements which probably not even the most needy or fearless mendicant would have ventured to occupy, though their hospitable doors stood wide to second the liberal invitation. When we next visited them, the whole maas had tumbled to ruin, leaving only here and there a sculptuied doorway and a defaced inscription to indicate their importance in other times, several of which remained till lately both in Coul’s and the Old High School Closes. To the east of the latter there stood, till within the last few years, a fine old stone land, with its main front in Mid Common Close, adorned with dormer windows, string courses, and other architectural decorations of an early period. Over one of the windows on the first floor, the following devout confession of faith was cut in large Roman characters:-I. TAKE . THE. LORD. JESTS. AS. MY. ONLY. ALL . SVFFICIENT. PORTION. TO . CONTENT . ME . 1614. This tenement, however, shared the fate of its less substantial neighbours, having been pulled down for other buildings. The Old High School Close derived its name from a large and handsome mansion which stood in an open court at the foot, and was occupied for many years as the High School of the Burgh. The building was ornamented with dormer windows, and a neat pediment in the centre, bearing a sun dial, with the date 1704. The school dated from a much remoter era, however, than this would imply; it appears to have been founded in connection with the Abbey, long before a similar institution existed in the capital. It is referred to in a charter granted by James V. in 1529; and Henryson, once the pupil of Vocat, clerk and orator of the Convent of Holyrood, is named as having successfully taught the Grammar School of the Burgh of Canongate. Repeated notices of it occur in the Burgh Records, e.g. :-“ 5 April 1580.-The quhilk day compeirit Gilbert Tailyeour, skuilmaister, and renuncit and dimittit his gift grauntit to him be Adame Bischope of 1 Contemporary allusions to this Parliament render it more likely that its place of meeting was on the south side of the street, as it was battered from the Blackfriara’ Yards. Moreover, it seem8 probable that the whole of the north aide wai~ an undisputed part of the Eurgh of Canongate, aa it now ia of the pariah ;, while on the south ita parochial bounds extend no further westward than St John’s Cross. In the Act of Parliament of 1540 (ante, p. 44), the Abbot of Holyrood is referred to aa the acknowledged superior of the east side of Leith Wynd. The old house iq at any rate, one which existed at the period, and wan then a mansion of no mean note. The occupanta of it some thirty years ago used to tell the usual story of Queen Yary having resided there, and professed to point out her chapel, with the confessiondLa place certainly constructed with mme suitableness for such a purpose-the site of the altar, the prieat’s robing-room, bic., and all in e cmy attic, which, long before ita final destruction, seemed to have been deserted as past hope of repair.